Even though household net worth is on the rise in America (at $141 trillion in the summer of 2021)—so is debt. The total personal debt in the U.S. is at an all-time high of $14.96 trillion. The average American debt (per U.S. adult) is $58,604 and 77% of American households have at least some type of debt.
How much money does the average American owe? According to a 2020 Experian study, the average American carries $92,727 in consumer debt. Consumer debt includes a variety of personal credit accounts, such as credit cards, auto loans, mortgages, personal loans, and student loans.
And yet, over half of Americans surveyed (53%) say that debt reduction is a top priority—while nearly a quarter (23%) say they have no debt. And that percentage may rise.
The average American has $90,460 in debt, according to a 2021 CNBC report. That included all types of consumer debt products, from credit cards to personal loans, mortgages and student debt. The average amount of debt by generation in 2020: Gen Z (ages 18 to 23): $16,043.
Debt is normal – but that doesn't mean you shouldn't do something about it. There were a variety of debts featured in the report. Overdrafts, mail order bills, hire purchase agreements, the average household seems to owe a lot of money to many different lenders.
“Shark Tank” investor Kevin O'Leary has said the ideal age to be debt-free is 45, especially if you want to retire by age 60. Being debt-free — including paying off your mortgage — by your mid-40s puts you on the early path toward success, O'Leary argued.
So, it should come as no surprise that homeowners put down roots here (literally and figuratively). Roughly 48 percent (47.9, to be exact) of all owner-occupied homes are mortgage-free.
Seventy-one percent of Americans have a savings account.
Former Société Générale rogue trader Jérôme Kerviel owes the bank $6.3 billion.
It's typically smarter to pay down your mortgage as much as possible at the very beginning of the loan to save yourself from paying more interest later. If you're somewhere near the later years of your mortgage, it may be more valuable to put your money into retirement accounts or other investments.
Debt-to-income ratio is your monthly debt obligations compared to your gross monthly income (before taxes), expressed as a percentage. A good debt-to-income ratio is less than or equal to 36%. Any debt-to-income ratio above 43% is considered to be too much debt.
There are countries such as Jersey and Guernsey which have no national debt, so the pay no interest. All this started with the Napoleonic wars when the government borrowed money to fund the war.
There is only one “debt-free” country as per the IMF database. For many countries, the unusually low national debt could be due to failing to report actual figures to the IMF.
States With the Least Debt in 2020
Alaska takes the No. 1 spot, with a tiny debt ratio of only 14.2%. Its total liabilities amount to only $12.65 billion compared to total assets of approximately $89.17 billion in 2019.
Here's how much Americans have saved for retirement at every age. On average, Americans have around $141,542 saved up for retirement, according to the "How America Saves 2022" report compiled by Vanguard, an investment firm that represents more than 30 million investors.
How much does the average 70-year-old have in savings? According to data from the Federal Reserve, the average amount of retirement savings for 65- to 74-year-olds is just north of $426,000.
Nearly a quarter of the millennial population (defined here as ages 24 to 41) has $100,000 or more in savings, up from the mere 16% who had hit this milestone in 2018, according to a new report from Bank of America that surveyed about 800 millennials.
You should aim to have everything paid off, from student loans to credit card debt, by age 45, O'Leary says. “The reason I say 45 is the turning point, or in your 40s, is because think about a career: Most careers start in early 20s and end in the mid-60s,” O'Leary says.
Most have paid off their mortgages. In 2020, 58% of the state's equity millionaires owned their homes free and clear. Statewide, there has been a dramatic rise in the number of Californians who have paid off their mortgages, from 1.6 million households in 2000 to 2.4 million in 2020.
Mortgages typically come with a certain amount of time to pay off the loan. This is known as a mortgage term. The most common mortgage term in the U.S. is 30 years. A 30-year mortgage gives the borrower 30 years to pay back their loan.
It might appear impossible, but many consumers succeed in living their entire lives without any debt. People of a variety of ages and income levels have made this choice. It's not an easy feat, but if it's something you truly want, don't let naysayers talk you out of it.
You may have heard carrying a balance is beneficial to your credit score, so wouldn't it be better to pay off your debt slowly? The answer in almost all cases is no. Paying off credit card debt as quickly as possible will save you money in interest but also help keep your credit in good shape.
According to a report published by Moody's Analytics, the US GDP would decline, approximately 6 million jobs would be lost and the unemployment rate would increase dramatically. And, just as significantly, the country's track record, at least as far as paying its debts is concerned, would be irrevocably stained.